Main Article Content
Patient comobidity at time of primary joint replacement (JR) impacts on outcomes including revision and mortality. Understanding changes in comorbidity profiles is important when assessing change in outcomes over time. Most arthroplasty registries have limited comorbidity information due to their minimum dataset. One approach to obtaining additional comorbidity data is linking registry data with national administrative data.
Objectives and Approach
Objectives were to quantify pre-operative comorbidity profile of patients undergoing primary total hip replacement (THR) and total knee replacement (TKR) for osteoarthritis. Also, to examine temporal trends in individual comorbidities for THR and TKR patients.
National pharmaceutical dispensing data were linked with THR and TKR arthroplasty patients. Medication dispensing histories in 12-months preceding JR (2003-2017) for 237,333 THR and 394,965 TKR patients, were mapped to 47 comorbidity classes using the Rx-Risk-V measure - a pharmacy-based measure of comorbidity. Comorbidity scores were calculated by summing comorbidity categories for individual patients. Trends in comorbidity scores/categories were described, with comorbidity information presented by PBS beneficiary category (concessional/general), stratified by age (<65/≥65 years).
Median (interquartile range) comorbidity scores were higher in concessional patients ≥65y, THR:5(3-6), TKR:5(3-7); <65y,TKR:5(3-6) but not THR:4(2-6). Comparative scores for general patients (both ages) were THR:4(2-6) and TKR:3(2-5). Trends in median comorbidity scores were consistent across study period, THR:4- 5(concessional)/2-3(general) and TKR:4-5(concessional)/4(general). Commonly identified comorbidities in younger concessional THR patients were pain, measured by opioid use (62.4%), inflammation/pain, measured by use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (62.2%), GORD (36.2%) and hypertension (36.1%). Individual comorbidities remained generally stable over time. However, increased patient proportions were seen in THR concessionals <65y for opioid pain (59.1%-71.1%), depression (24.5-42.5%), whilst inflammation/pain (82.1-56.1%) and antiplatelet use (≥65y:23.5-9.2%) declined.
Conclusion / Implications
n THR or TKR patients no appreciable change in comorbidity score or comorbidity profile occurred over time. This suggests that improving JR outcomes over time are unlikely due solely to variation in patient comorbidity profiles.
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